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Q&A With Former Oklahoma and Current Atlanta Falcons DB Dominique Franks


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Q&A With Former Oklahoma and Current Atlanta Falcons DB Dominique Franks

By Steve Hunt - FOXSportsSouthwest.com

Dominique Franks admits he did contemplate returning to Oklahoma for his senior season. However, while many thought the former Sooner cornerback would go higher than in the fifth round, where he was taken by Atlanta, Franks admits it didn’t really matter who took him or where, he just wanted a shot to show what he could do in the NFL. The ex-Sooner standout was a First Team All-Big 12 Conference performer as both a sophomore and junior in Norman and his departure leaves a fairly large hole for Bob Stoops’ Sooners heading into this fall. Franks is now immersing himself in learning the intricacies of being a successful defensive back in the NFL, a tall order for any rookie.

How has your time in Atlanta been?

Franks: It’s been great. It’s been a pretty smooth transition for me. I have a former teammate in Curtis Lofton that has really had open arms to me. He’s really helped me learn the defense. I got great older corners that are proven players in the league like Dunta Robinson and Greg Grimes. They’re just helping me with a lot of technique work. (They also answer) any questions I have about certain coverages, how we’re matching up on certain things. I would say it’s been a smooth transition for me.

Discuss your time in Norman.

Franks: I had a great time at OU. It was very special, being from Oklahoma and having a chance to go to Oklahoma University and play for a coach like Coach Stoops. I had a great time. It was a great time for me. Growing up with some of the guys I played with, it was a very special time for me at OU.

Talk about how Coach Stoops impacted you the most.

Franks: Just having a great coach like Coach Stoops who coached great players before me who just knew the ins and outs and what exactly I should look for, he made it a lot easier for us when we were watching film with what to expect and look at. As far as technique work, he’s seen players do it before and he’s seen it work. So, all the information that he gave us, we used it to our best.

Was your decision to leave OU early a tough one?

Franks: Yeah, it really was but I just felt like I had a chance to go out and make somebody’s team. That was really an important decision. I always wanted to play professional football and just really felt like I had a chance. At the same time, I could have come back another year but I just wanted to go ahead, take this opportunity and see where it goes.

You were projected to go much higher in the draft. Does it bother you that you slipped to the fifth round?

Franks: I really didn’t care. All I wanted was somebody to give me a chance to make their team. It didn’t really matter what team, what round or anything like that. It worked our perfectly for me, to be able to come here and be with a former teammate like Curtis Lofton, an Oklahoma guy that I can ask questions at any time. It’s really helping me. This is the perfect place for me. This is where I always wanted to come. It worked out just fine for me.

Were you and Curtis Lofton pretty close at OU?

Franks: Yeah, we were pretty good friends. He actually called me and told me he was going to take care of me and whatever I need like learning the defense to always give him a call or whatever. He told me he’s just here to help make this transition as smooth as possible.

What do you anticipate will be the biggest adjustment for you to the NFL?

Franks: Really just more technique work and being a better student of the game (are going to be the biggest things). When you get to this level, everybody is great. So you’ve got to focus in on your technique, get in there and watch extra film on certain plays to be able to come before it actually happens.

How much rookie hazing are you expecting to endure this year?

Franks: I really don’t know. I’ll probably buy a lot of expensive dinners. I’m not really sure how that’s going to go. Right now, we carry helmets but that’s part of being a rookie. I’m going to do whatever it takes for the guys to have open arms to me.

Matt Ryan is a pretty solid quarterback. What’s it been like to work against a guy like that on offense?

Franks: Just having a great quarterback like Matt Ryan and the great receivers that we have prepares us for the game every day in practice. So, you’ve got to take advantage of facing a guy like him and really work on your technique and things like that to know if you can cover the receivers out here in practice, they’re going to give you the best look they can because they’re great players, it’s really going to help you on Sundays or Monday night.

Are you going to return kicks this year?

Franks: I ‘m not sure (if I will return kicks or not). Whatever it takes for me to get on the field, I’ll do it. If they want me to return, I’ll return. If they want me to cover, I’ll cover. Whatever it takes, I’m more than willing to do.

Do you enjoy playing on special teams?

Franks: I do (enjoy it). Everybody wants to have the ball in their hands but it gives me satisfaction to show the coaches that they can count on me. I’m just going to take it one day at a time. They’re going to put the best guys out there to do what we need to do to be able to win as a team. So, if they choose me to go back there and return kicks, I’ll be more than happy to do it.

After a five-loss season in 2009, do you expect the 2010 Sooners to bounce back?

Franks: I think they’re going to bounce back really great. Even though our record shows that we didn’t have a very good season, we felt like we came together. There’s a lot more than us going out there and just winning games. We faced adversity, went out there week in and week out and competed as a team. Once Sam (Bradford) got hurt, we rallied around Landry (Jones) to let him know that we’ve got faith in you and you’re our quarterback from here on out. In everybody else’s eyes, they think that five losses is a down year but I think it brought us closer as a team. I think those guys are going to carry that into this summer to work even harder and have a great season in this upcoming fall.

Has it hit you yet that the NFL is a job?

Franks: Yes it has (hit me). It really has. Not attending school, waking up and being at the facility all day, it really is a job but I can’t complain. Not too many people in the world can say that they love their job. Coming out here and being able to play a football game and really doing something you love, it really doesn’t seem too much like a job. I know it is but I just look at it to come out here, have fun and enjoy what you’re doing.

Greg Grimes...lol

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RFSGw3CbNOs

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I noticed he uses the word "technique" a lot. That's something that can be worked on and improved with good

coaching. I hope Lewis is the answer since we let ET go. I got confidence in TD to hire good ppl tho. And with vets like Dunta and Williams he should be in good hands. I'm looking for big things from Franks.

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Franks is saying all the right things, I can't for the life of me figure out why he dropped to the 5th round for "character concerns". Like TD said, I guess, it's nothing to worry about.

I dont think he dropped because of Character concerns... I think it was more about the draft being deep at CB and the mental lapse he would have in coverage sometimes...... In a deep drop... Some one has to drop.

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